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Feasting and Fasting

by: Dorothy Duncan

Toronto Canada: Dundurn Press 2010, $26.99, Hardbound
ISBN: 978-1-55488-757-6

Reviewed by: Jacqueline M. Newman
Summer Volume: 2011 Issue: 18(2) page(s): 21

Subtitled: Canada's Heritage Celebrations, read about foods and beverages central to how Canadian ancestors, called the First Nations, celebrated these important events.

This wonderful book by a true historian, writes and references her sources, and details special days, holidays, and holy days in thirty-four chapters. More thorough than most, and not forgetting Canadian-Asian roots, one chapter is titled: Gung Hai Fat Choi, May You Have Good Fortune and Riches! Besides that, the Chinese are mentioned celebrating Qing Ming, providing domestic services in the late 1870's, and Chinese lanterns getting washed out some ten years later. A Chinese recipe, found in countless Canadian cookbooks a century ago, is provided for Chinese Chews. Deemed an exotic dainty to serve family or guests, a question we ask is: Did the Chinese in Canada make it in those days or does it just bear the name: Chinese? If you know, tell us.
Chinese Chews
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup finely chopped dates
2 Tablespoons chopped candied ginger
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, beaten
2 Tablespoons and one teaspoon melted butter, separated
3 Tablespoons additional granulated sugar
1. Combine walnuts, dates, ginger, and sugar in a bowl; then mix flour baking powder, and salt and add it to the nut mixture. Then blend in the eggs and the two tablespoons of butter.
2. Using the teaspoon of melted butter, brush it on an eight-inch square baking pan, then spread the nut mixture evenly into it.
3. Bake in a 325 degree oven for twenty-five minutes, and remove from the oven. While still warm, cut into small squares and roll each of these into a ball.
4. Roll the balls in the additional sugar, then cool them and serve.

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